someday meets Michelle Ogundehin

We couldn't think of a better way to kick off 2021 than catching up with Michelle Ogundehin. Michelle is the former Editor-in-Chief of Elle Decoration UK and can currently be seen on our screens as lead judge on the BBC2/Netflix show, Interior Design Masters.

An internationally renowned thought leader on trends, colour and style, Michelle also recently launched her first book How to Harness the Power of Home for Health and Happiness. It is a timely read with so many of us seeking comfort, security and joy inside our own 'four walls' over the last year.

Here, Michelle discusses how important a happy home is to our wellbeing and looking ahead, we hear what Michelle has in store for 2021.

What's the most common interiors/design question that people ask you? And what do you tell them?
Typically it's something to do with storage: how to have more, where to put things, how to hide things. And my answer is always the same — do you actually need or love the things that you're trying to find a home for? It's all very well to tidy things away, or to have lots of hooks and hangers, extra cupboards or a neatly organised loft, but if you don't use whatever it is you're storing, then it's wasted space. Besides, it is my fervent belief that most people do not in fact need more storage or larger homes, they need a fresh look at the space they already have, and a lot less stuff.
someday meets Michelle OgundehinPhotography by Marianna Wahlsten 

You are one of the UK’s most influential interiors experts, but who inspires/influences you? 
It might sound like a cliché, but I really am inspired by everything: the colours of nature, people's outfits, sunlight and shadows, magazines, movies, fashion, books, TV programmes, catalogues, sweet wrappers, you name it, there's always something to take away. In terms of people, it's just as varied. I love almost anything that Kelly Wearstler has ever done, likewise Joseph Dirand and work from the archive of David Hicks. In all cases mostly for their textural virtuosity, use of colour and creative fearlessness.

someday meets Michelle OgundehinPhotography by Marianna Wahlsten

You’ve recently launched your first book, Happy Inside: How to Harness the Power of Home for Health and Happiness; tell us a bit more about the concept behind this and your approach and inspiration for writing the book?
Very simply it's that your home environment is as important to wellbeing as the traditional twin pillars of good diet and exercise. In fact, I think it's more impactful. After all, you can't create healthy food in a hectic kitchen, sleep well, or honour thyself through exercise if what surrounds you is dark, drab or messy. So Happy Inside takes you by the hand to present a really achievable and holistic approach to both happy home making and general wellbeing, from clutter-clearing to arranging our living rooms to promote what I call active rest. Bottom line, we become #happyinside ourselves by becoming #happyinside our homes.

someday designs meets Michelle Ogundehin

We’ve all spent more time in our homes than ever before, how do you think this unprecedented year might impact on forthcoming interior trends and design priorities? 
I think it's made everyone realise that far from being frivolous, happy home making is fundamental to health and happiness. Hand in hand with that is the acknowledgment that our homes need only please ourselves. To be surrounded by things and decor that you love is to own your personal story — above all, in this most private corner of the world, you owe no debt of loyalty to the desires of anyone other than those closest to you.

Inspiration is everywhere these days with Instagram, Pinterest, blogs, magazines - it can be overwhelming. Can you give any tips on how to optimise all the amazing content we have at our fingertips and translate it into an interior style that works for you and your home?
On the whole, ignore it all! A truly authentic interior starts from a deep dive into ourselves alone, working out what colours, textures, materials and styles we like without being too distracted by what's in/out and all about. Only once we have a clearer picture of this should we start looking for ideas and inspiration about the way to then use what we love. In other words, you build yourself a firm foundation of what lights your personal fire, and only then start to tweak it by seeing what other people have done. 

someday designs meets Michelle Ogundehin Photography by Marianna Wahlsten

You’re a writer, consultant, presenter and a collaborator, what’s next in store for you? Can you share any details of current or future projects you are working on? 
I've just finished filming Series 2 of Interior Design Masters, for which I'm Series Judge. That should hit BBC2 February 2021. So now I plan to batten down the hatches for a while and start work on my next book! I'd also love to release Happy Inside as an interactive online course, as a week-by-week hand-holding guide through the process, with loads of added extras. But that might take me a little bit longer!

someday designs meets Michelle OgundehinPhotography by Emma Harris

Make sure you check out Michelle's website and follow her on Instagram. Thank you Michelle! 

Photo Credits: Ben Anders (Michelle profile), Marianna Wahlsten & Emma Harris (Interior shots) 

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